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doug- I'm all for it.

Let the congealing begin.

And as for "physical habits which are detrimental..."
Yes... but I still want to smoke a cigar now and again.



seriously though... good stuff.

Chris Gonzalez

PT means "Pagitt-Time."

Can't you just hear Dick Vitale? "Here he comes down the court, a little PT, oh baby, it's Pagitt Time!"

Now seriously, I am glad for you to make the point since Emergent gets used as label in the same way evangelical does, or Lutheran does, or _________ does. And without a constant reorientation to what it isn't and what it is (which we do not know, bit only in part and in parts), it will be too simple to think it is something when it is a simultaneous growth of lots of somethings.

Casting a positive vision for some potential directions is good. Yes, Emergent needs to answers its critics and grow from them, but it cannot be consumed in it or obsessed with it.

Emergent, whatever it is becoming, should be something looked back on in 100 years as the thing that began happening that brought the kind of justice Jesus brought, the kind of compassion Jesus brought, and so forth. It needs to be a mosaic that we are now only beginning to pan back from and see a greater picture - a picture that not even all of its participants knew they were a part of, but are excited when they see it.


Here, here! I'll drink to that!! Excellent creative thoughts. Glad to be on the journey with you, Doug. See you in Nashville.

Paul Weinhold

If you are interested in Evangelicalism in the 19th and 20th centuries, I recommend that you pick up a book by one of the following historians: Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch, or George Marsden. All have contributed to American religious history through significant works that guarantee food for thought as you consider the future of the Church.


Great. You guys (PT folks) can start congealing and defining some of your beliefs and stances and views and what have yous at this blog:


it is a blog critically seeking definition of PT.
your pal, norm


"...global poverty, abuse of children and women, dominance of under class, physical habits that are detrimental to future generations, governmental systems that oppress the weak for the sake of the few, slave trafficking..."

Who in their right mind is not against these things? Just asking...


I consider myself part of the emerging (little 'e') phenomenon. I think I understand what you are desiring to do (firming up PT) and, for the most part, I applaud it but I think it (PT) will resist the efforts. I'm not even sure it's the kind of thing, like Evangelicalism, that can be firmed up or formed into something definable. Coming up with THE PT approach to church structure or worship or whatever seems problematic to say the least though I think there could be a PT approach to conversations about church structure, worship, etc... (i.e. generous you-know-what by he who shall not be named)


Quote: "Let me suggest a few enemies: global poverty, abuse of children and women, dominance of under class, physical habits that are detrimental to future generations, governmental systems that oppress the weak for the sake of the few, slave trafficking..."

I suspect this might be an unpopular opinion in this crowd but...what about immorality in Christ's church? What about heresy? What about distortion of the gospel of Jesus? Don't we as Christians have an obligation to stand against these things? Paul, I think, seemed to think so.

I hope those who read this will catch the spirit of grace and compassion in which it is meant — I'm not trying to be harsh...just honest. As one who doesn't self-identify with the emerg[ing/ent] crowd but who is somewhat sympathetic and interested in the discussion, I am a bit troubled by some of what I hear. In reading what people are posting on this site, I've noticed a general willingness to take a firm stance on issues of justice and social welfare (which is great)...but not so much willingness to stand for anything of a theological nature (e.g., the usual doctrines of biblical inerrancy, substitutionary atonement, blah, blah, blah), or of morality of a more personal nature (e.g., homosexuality) — i.e., the things that anyone might actually disagree over (I mean, seriously...what sane, moral person (Christian, Atheist, or otherwise) is in favor of battering women or abusing children?). To be fair, it's perfectly possible that I just haven't run across the more theologically-oriented threads yet...

But if this assessment is partially or largely accurate...can someone explain to me why this is the case? I fully understand and applaud the objective of not introducing unnecessary divisions or offences — many things just AREN'T worth fighting about. But surely there are SOME things of theology that aren't just "up for grabs", right? What about those that Peter and Paul called "false teachers"? Isn't part of our calling as Christians to oppose those who would pervert the truth God has revealed? And in order to do this, wouldn't we have to take a stand against those theological opinions that we believe are inaccurate?

And if we are to do this, don't we have to elucidate the content of the gospel a little more fully than just "the good news of/in Jesus Christ"? (My apologies to Tony if I've misunderstood his point, but honestly, this "definition" of the gospel seems so vague as to be useless for discriminating between a correct and an incorrect understanding of what Jesus, Paul, and Peter meant by "the gospel").



Its a great idea to look at history and learn form it - especially when we are perhaps in the midst of making it.

If we look at the motivting factors behind the Evangelical movement in the 30's and beyond, I think we'd find this one thing we share: There has to be something besides (between? above?) the dichotomy of fundamentalism and liberalism.

Look at where evangelicalism was born - wasnt it? outside the structures of denominational churches - connected both to the changing culture - especially utilizing changes in communication media.

Maybe a movement needs an enemy - because diverse people can get together against a common enemy - but I am not sure that lasts as an identity. Movements (and other thingss - families, nations, denominations) gain identity from events - or personalities - or unique practices/traditions. A movement - emergent or any other, maybe needs the same things a good story needs -- gonna think about that for a little bit.

and I think I'll go read a chapter in my American church history book and see what else pops out that we can learn from. (not ignoring the fact that nothing counts unless it is a genuine move of God engaging humanity - but that's THE Story, isnt it?)


As a new participant in the emergent conversation, and one who has come to it very naturally from an evangelical background, I really need someone to outline for me the criticisms of the "Evangelical Movement". I can't see any dichotomy between what I have read the Bible to say my entire life and what the individuals in the emergent conversation are saying, except on the existent "differing points"--those things that have caused us to form denominations (or schools of thought) throughout the centuries.

The fact that those differences are already there in the churches of every tradition (not just the Evangelical churches), and that those same differences are present here in this movement tells me that they will simply continue to be the subjects that cause us to worship in smaller congregations/denominations/schools of thought even within the emergent movement. A spiritually intelligent person from any tradition--Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, etc.--should find this to be a stimulating and provoking conversation where excitement for the Gospel is fresh and new.

My fear is that this implied distaste for evangelical churches or teaching is going to disenfranchise a great many people who would otherwise welcome the emergent movement. It isn't something I have seen encouraged by the Emergent leadership, but it is loud and clear in the vast majority of posts. I walk away wondering if I will really be welcome here, or if I will be marginalized because of my background and thought processes.

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